Day 79: Ice and Moose

It was a cold night, our coldest of the trip. Half way through the night I scratched around the tent floor to locate my beanie and warm my head and ears up. When we woke in the morning the condensation had turned to ice and even our sleeping bag had a thin coating of ice. 

I woke before sunrise and I laid there watching the Suns warmth first hit the top of the trees, then slowly move down. It hit the ground 20 feet from our tent. I laid in anticipation of it hitting our tent and the almost instant heat the sun brings. 

As we lay there we watch outside and see a deer walk across the grass. It stops and stares at our tent. We both watch it thinking how cute. Then another shadow comes across the tent and a cow moose walks 20 feet from our door. We are still thinking how cute but become a little more wary, moose can be unpredictable especially if the have a calf. As soon as we think this along comes the calf followed by a bull. 

They all turn and stare at our tent. We think what do we do now. Do we make noise and see if they go away, do we stay quiet. We don’t know the protocol for moose encounters, where is google when you really need it. We wonder if bear spray works on moose if they turn nasty. I grab my phone to take a photo but the lens instantly fogs over from the cold. I get the camera and stick my arm out the tent door and snap away, I ended up with a collection of Suns spot photos. They start to move off into the trees and we get a little gamer opening the door and I get a couple of blurred long distance photos just before they disappear.

It has been an eventful morning and we have not made it out of the tent yet, can’t wait to see what the rest of the day brings. 

It is a beautiful mornings walk. We are on a gradual descent for most of the morning on trails that are park like in their appearance. We are surrounded by views, wild mountain flowers and lush green grass. The trees form lush shaded avenues and it is a pleasure to walk. 

As the day warms up we pass from the mountain paths onto forestry roads that gradually get more and more substantial. We come off a slightly over grown road into a well graded gravel road and just as we do a forest service truck comes around the corner and pulls up next to us. We start chatting and they ask us how the trail is going. They ask if we are going into Dubois and when we say yes they instantly tell us to go to the Bistro and have the Thai Beef Salad and the Cowboy for home made pie. They obviously know what is important to hikers. 

They leave us to hike the rest of the afternoon with the image of Thai Beef Salad, one of my favourite dishes, distracting us from the foot pain that road walking always seems to bring on. 

We stop at Lava creek for a drink and a cool down as the afternoon is now hot. I decide to wash the salt out of my hair and put my sun glasses down on the ground while I wash. It is not until the next day that I realise they are still on the ground next to lava creek. 

We again camp early struggling to find a good camp spot. The spot we end up with is sloped in all sorts of ways and leads to both of us having a bad nights sleep with Yeti spending most of the night awake and turning to try and find some comfort. It is lucky it is a town day.